Periodontal disease is an advanced form of gum disease, and it’s an inflammatory condition caused by the build-up of plaque bacteria. It’s something that should be taken extremely seriously, not least because it’s the biggest cause of tooth loss in adults in the world. It’s something that affects many people to some degree or other. The early stages can be easy to miss, but common symptoms include noticing you have bad breath, or that your teeth look at little longer than before. This is because the disease causes gum tissue to recede and pull away from the teeth. By this stage you may notice pockets developing around the base of your teeth, and these can become infected and full of bacteria. At its very worst periodontal disease can result in destruction of the bone supporting the teeth, leading to tooth loss.
This condition is something we really want all our patients at Leeds City Dentalcare to avoid. While the early stages of periodontal disease (gingivitis) are relatively easy to treat, the advanced stages can often be chronic, meaning it’s something we can only keep in check but cannot cure completely.
Treatments for Periodontal Disease
One of the most commonly used treatments for periodontal disease is scaling and planning. This is a deep cleaning treatment that helps to remove the infection from around the teeth. It’s an excellent treatment as scaling removes all the calculus or tartar from just above and below the gum line. Planning removes any rough spots from the exposed tooth root as these are common areas where bacteria can gather. Smoothing off the tooth root helps to make it more difficult for them to gather in this area in the future. If your teeth are quite infected then we may need to spread this treatment over several appointments and at Leeds surgery.
Sometimes we may suggest medication to enhance the effects of scaling and root planning, and to help kill off bacteria. The medication is given in tablet form, but may be placed topically into the pockets around the teeth after scaling and planning. If your teeth have been very badly affected then you might need surgery to help repair the gums, or to help regenerate bone and tissue lost to this disease.
Who is Most at Risk of Developing Periodontal Disease?
Some people are definitely more at risk of developing this condition, and if you fall into one of these categories then it’s well worth taking extra care of your oral health. People at risk include:
Smokers, as smoking is one of the most significant risk factors associated with periodontal disease. Smoking also makes it more difficult for tissues to heal after treatment, as it constricts the blood supply so the body is less able to transport essential nutrients to damaged areas.
Pregnant women or women undergoing hormonal changes can be more susceptible towards gingivitis as hormones can increase the sensitivity of the gum tissue.
People on certain types of medications may be more susceptible towards periodontal disease, especially if they slow the production of saliva. Saliva has a protective effect as it helps to wash away excess bacteria, so if insufficient quantities are produced than the mouth is more vulnerable towards infections including periodontal disease.
Diabetics are more susceptible towards developing periodontal disease, as this condition can suppress their immune system making it less able to fight off infection.
As you can see treatment for periodontal disease in Leeds can be quite extensive, and we’d really like to help you avoid the need for it. If it’s been a while since you attended our Leeds surgery for a check-up and cleaning, or if you fall into one of the higher risk groups then it’s definitely worth your while making an appointment just so we can check you haven’t got any early symptoms of periodontal disease.